Hello, fellow book junkies and happy last day of 2016! Before launching into an exciting new year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the best YA books and authors I read in 2016. I surpassed my 100-book reading challenge by 18 books and met many five-star worthy reads but, ultimately, these are the books that left the most lingering impression. Here’s the best of 2016.
Favorite New Author
V.E./Victoria Schwab – Thank you, 2016, for introducing me to the writing genius of Victoria “V.E.” Schwab. My gateway drug into Schwab ‘s amazing books was A Darker Shade of Magic, followed by: A Gathering of Shadows, Vicious, and This Savage Song. Oh, and I got to meet her at a book signing (my very first one). Yes, I am officially a Schwabling (at least I think that’s what they’re calling us diehard Schwab fans.)
Honorable mention: A.S. King – Her writing style is completely original and imaginative. I may not always love the plot, but I can’t get enough of her writing. I recommend starting with Reality Boy or Please Ignore Vera Dietz.
Without question, my favorite series was The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater! It had everything: memorable characters, amazing writing, off-the-hook world-building, great plot twists. Once I started with The Raven Boys, I could not stop.
Books So Fun They Felt Like Reading Parties
Captain Marvel, vol. 1-6 by DeConnick and Lopez
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Honorable Mention: The Reader by Traci Chee
Favorite Indie Series
Mermaids of Eriana Kwai by Tiana Warner
Best Female Protagonist
Agnieszka from Uprooted by Naomi Novik. A complete original with a powerful gift for magic.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Miss Justineau from The Girl With All the Gifts
Best Male Protagonist
Day from Legend by Marie Lu
Favorite New Book Boyfriend
Zach from Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfeld.
Alternate, modern world, czarist Russia from A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. Dreamy, wonderful, unforgettable.
Favorite Plot Twist
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Most Devastating Read
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter. I usually avoid sad stories, but Kletter is stunningly talented, and this story about a broken girl really moved me.
Honorable mention: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. Zentner got me good on this one. Tears were running down my cheeks before I fully realized what was happening.
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. Narrated in the best kind of wry, British style by Kathryn Kellgren. This fish out of water story made me laugh out loud, and the audiobook was perfect for listening to while putting around in the car.
Best Small Press Standalone
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. It took a few chapters for things to come together, but once they did, there was no looking back.
The #1 Book No One Else Seems to Like But Me
The Graces by Laura Eve – I’m so glad I got a hold of this deliciously deadly, atmospheric book early on as a Netgalley ARC because otherwise I might have been turned off by the low 3.23 rating it currently has on Goodreads. Here’s to teen witches and morally ambiguous characters.
I would love to hear about YOUR favorite books of the year. To step up this challenge and give a massive New Year’s shout-out to bloggers who have brought so much bookish joy and friendship to my year, I hereby tag:
Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories
Amy @ Every Book You Need to Read and More
Danielle @ Books, Vertigo & Tea
Brittany @ The Grisha Lieutenant
Jesalin @ Blogging Everything Beautiful
Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets
Jocelyn @ 52 Letters in the Alphabet
The Glitter Afficianado
Stephanie @ Eclectic Scribblings
Sabrina Marsi Books
Stephanie @ yourdaughtersbookshelf
Karen @ MyTrain of Thoughts
Erica @ Books the Thing
Beth @ Betwixt These Pages